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Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft from a Denver Tax Specialist

August 9, 2017

Suddenly your cell phone rings with an unidentifiable number or “No Caller ID” memo available. Curious you hesitantly answer, “Hello”. “Yes, this is John Doe with the Internal Revenue Service, badge number 123456789, trying to reach [enter your name here]. Immediately, your stomach feels queasy and all thoughts should be focused on a tax specialist who can assist you but instead you’re more worried about what comes next.

The individual on the other end of the line goes on to list your physical address, social security number, birth date and other vitally important personal information. Then he or she discloses the reasoning behind the phone call - your latest tax return has been audited and you owe “X” amount to rectify the mistakes that were made.

In order to avoid prosecution, jail time, a negative effect on your credit, and/or further legal action some monies must be paid immediately. These funds can be submitted by check or electronic funds transfer and the individual is more than willing to assist in processing the request.

Unfortunately, this situation occurs far too often and many times elderly individuals are targeted. Those who may be more susceptible in falling for the false scheme and willing to hand over funds without further questioning. Do not let you or your loved ones fall victim to a similar scam.

First, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never contact you initially via telephone. If an actual audit or request for payment is going to occur it will first be instituted with a letter via the US Mail service. You may then contact the IRS leading to a subsequent conversations but the initial contact will never occur by phone.

Further, individuals can take the following steps in order to combat identity theft as recommended by the U.S. government.
  • “Secure your social security number (SSN). Don’t carry your social security card in your wallet or write your number on your checks. Only give out your SSN when absolutely necessary.
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information (your name, birthdate, social security number, or bank account number) by phone, mail, or online.
  • Watch out for “shoulder surfers.” Shield the keypad when typing your passwords on computers and at ATMs.
  • Collect mail promptly. Ask the post office to put your mail on hold when you are away from home for several days.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender.
  • Review your receipts. Promptly compare receipts with account statements. Watch for unauthorized transactions.
  • Shred receipts, credit offers, account statements, and expired cards, to prevent “dumpster divers” from getting your personal information.
  • Store personal information in a safe place at home and at work.
  • Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer.
  • Create complex passwords that identity thieves cannot guess easily. Change your passwords if a company that you do business with has a breach of its databases
  • Order your credit report once a year and review to be certain that it doesn't include accounts that you have not opened. Check it more frequently if you suspect someone has gained access to your account information.”
The experts at Bloch, Rothman, and Associates can answer any questions regarding taxes, possible IRS scams, and assist with a variety of bookkeeping options. A full detailed review of your tax situation can be completed in addition to resolution issues and estate compilations. All services will be completed in a timely manner, depending on your restrictions and possible tax deadlines. Whether you fear to be the victim of an IRS replica scam or are in need of a variety of other services our tax experts are ready and willing to assist. Call 303-321-7160 or contact us for your initial free no obligation consultation.